12-11-2004 to 12-18-04 Western
Occupation: Aircraft A & P Mechanic, Wife: Administrative Asst
Location: Columbia, SC 29212
CCL Fantasy 1990-Honeymoon Cruise Did Not Like
Celebrity Century 1994 Eastern-Fantastic
Celebrity Century 1995 Western-Also Fantastic
RCCL Voyager Of The Seas 1998 Western-Excellent
RCCL Nordic Empress 1999 Southern-Will Not Go Out Of San Juan Again, Nice Ship
Princess Golden Princess 2001 Eastern-Never Again Going On Princess
CCL Triumph 2004 Western-100 % Improvement Over Fantasy Experience, Definitely Recommend
The Good Points:
Best coffee on a cruise ship, Best and largest lobster tails (I had 3) not ruined in lemon water like other lines, Friendly staff onboard and land most spoke good English, Excellent clean buffets-no fly’s like other cruise buffets we have been on, Ships deck layout very easy to get around, Speed and availability of elevators, potency of bar drinks, Prices in gift shop specials like $10 watches wallets t-shirts etc., NY Deli was outstanding corned beef on grilled rye melted in your mouth and the pastrami on grilled rye was good also the turkey on a sub roll was just ok, Hong Kong Noodle company very good Chinese style food small portions because they cook it up fresh never a problem getting 2 plates if you wanted it, 24 hour pizza was very good and good selection wife’s calzone and Caesar salad looked very good also, 24 hour ice cream and frozen yogurt was very good always a good supply of cones and bowls and spoons I used a large coffee cup and a cone inside( I love ice cream), Room service was very good and a nice selection of cold sandwiches pastries and again the best coffee we ever had on a cruise they were fast and accurate always bringing what ever we asked for including a lot of my favorite drink “milk” it was slow at times which we understand but they always told us when we called in our request if they were busy we always tipped a couple of bucks and the final 5 days we had the same girl bring us our treats because she knew we tipped well, Camp Carnival for the kids was nice my daughter said it was ok not as many kids as she has been with on other cruises probably because it was the week before Christmas break, Casino was very large and the dealers were very friendly Fun 21 is blackjack/21 with a twist you win 2.5 times your bet with a blackjack even if the dealer has one not considered a push you win with any combination of 21 even if the dealer has a blackjack you win 2.5 times your bet if you get 3 7s only the dealer hits on a soft 17 is the only tricky part for the house but they usually bust on this one.
The Not So Good Points:
Porters in Miami literally beg for there tips as the one we had told us point blank “take good care of me as you will never see me again and you want to see all your belongings don’t you” he even went to the trouble of counting out loud how many bags we had in front of everyone present and after counting 9 items(we are fat and our clothes are larger than normal) he said “$10 that’s all your going to give me?”(yes we started to worry when our last bag did not show up until 8pm although we know they have thousands of bags to deliver cabin to cabin, Worst stage shows on a cruise ship 2 musicals and 1 comedian(he was very good and it was very R rated) on a 7 day trip plus 1 holiday show including camp carnival kids my daughter had fun with this one but 2 big screen movies of Garfield and Irobot was not my idea of a stage show, Worst bingo on a cruise ship 1 card for $10 or 3 for $20 is ok but they only play 1 game with only 1 winner not fair with hundreds of people playing, 2 hours to get onto ship even with pre-registered fun pass and 5 hours just to get off plus the usual customs, Our waiter and asst waiter ignored our small family of 3 in a comfortable booth and favored the large group at the table for 10 we saw much better wait staff working there sections we often had to beg for seconds of rolls (we took the automatic tipping off of our sail and sign account and adjusted our wait team way down $$ while our cabin steward was great and got a lot more $$ than suggested)(BTW, Best breads on a cruise ship) and refills of water(wine steward was a real pain in the neck harassed us every night even though we asked him not to come back), Expensive bar drinks $5.00 for a single beer and $5.00 rum & coke is just too much in my opinion plus $2.25 for a small bottle of water is just too much, No mini-bar in our balcony cabin is unacceptable only available in a mini-suite or above(not good if you have refrigerated medicines or drink a lot of milk like me, Cabin Air conditioning is very cold at night and you can only control the volume of air at the vent on the ceiling not the temperature of the air coming out of it, long lines at the buffets-well with over 2000 people I guess it wasn’t too bad unless someone holds up the line because they pick though everything, We found it very unusual for the staff to eat in the public areas with the paying passengers although finding a good table was never a problem.
Very good mix of mostly heartland of America with some Canadian, Asian and European, white-black-skinny-fat not as many Latin’s as RCCL seems to have(we are not prejudice we just don’t like to hear Spanish every 2 seconds), security was very good usually always present and never saw or heard of any problems.
Considering it was built in 1999 it is in very good condition with only minor wear and tear in the most used public areas (it is probably near impossible to recover the seating during a quick home port visit in Miami but maybe CCL should get this done ASAP, carpets are in very good condition for as much as they get used you always see the crew shampooing the carpets and cleaning and picking up dishes in the buffet-a table was always clean and available, the cabin was very large and comfortable with only minor wear and tear, the bathroom was excellent for me as I weigh almost 450lbs I found the commode placed very well and did not have a problem taking care of my business, the shower was a good size and this was the first time the shower curtain did not cling to our bodies(most irritating as was other cruises).
Ports And Sea Days:
Day 1 Embarkation Saturday Getting on (previously mentioned) Checked cabin and was very clean had lunch at the south Beach Club buffet which was a good spread and even found a nice window booth, than back to the cabin to relax and get ready for early seating at 5:30pm (big mistake on my part, going for late seating next time as you will find out it is difficult to get there on time on port days).
Day 2 Sunday Sea Day Woke up early to have coffee and croissants from room service (there is a order card for each day in your stateroom) than went to breakfast when our daughter woke up, went to the pool and found plenty of good seating with very comfortable loungers and had very good hot dogs cheeseburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches the steak sandwiches were good also, played in the casino and had a great lobster (3) dinner with a side of thick juicy prime rib with very little fat ( I have enough of my own thank you) went to show (previously mentioned) and back to the casino which was very good to me wife won $1000 playing Wheel Of Fortune Slots and I made $250 playing Fun 21 (previously mentioned).
Day 3 Monday In Cozumel until midnight very nice beach and shopping though beware the port shops require bargaining as a $35 Mexican blanket was haggled down to $6 yes six dollars (glad we bought 3 as I like to sleep in the cold cabin (previously mentioned)
Oh yes and we ate and ate and ate (never ever had a bad meal)
Day 4 Tuesday Sea Day Lots of pool (even though they are small it never seemed over crowded) ( the water was even warm and very clean as they drain and clean them every night) Lots to eat and drink (we carried onboard in our backpacks 5 bottles of 2 litre sodas, 1 each rum, JD, vodka, JW Black Label and some southern comfort) check in was so busy they did not question anything brought on with us.
Day 5 Wednesday Grand Cayman shopping although prices are not very negotiable and tendering in with 4 other mega-liners was a little rough and it was very crowded and of course back onboard to eat (seems like every 15 minutes) and back to the casino where the winnings continued.
Day 6 Thursday Ocho Rios beware of street peddlers outside the very secure port gates went to Margaritaville and some shopping than back onboard to you guessed it eat and play in the casino which finally paid for most of our total vacation (after all said and done we spent under $200 for the cruise, souvenirs, driving from SC to Miami, and eating on the road (did I mention we like to eat?).
Day 7 Friday Last Sea Day same as Day 4
Saturday Disembarkation Crying that it is time to get back to reality and getting off (previously mentioned) we went to our favorite restaurant (we used to live near Ft Lauderdale and have gone here for over 30 years) The Deli Den in Hollywood (we had horrible service with which we only left a small tip and they had the nerve to resubmit my credit card with an additional 20% tip, this is currently under investigation by my Visa card company)
Sorry this is so long and hope it did not put you to sleep, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or questions, I love to talk (obvious huh?)
Carnival has really come a long way since 1990 and in our opinion is now considered by us a premium line and a excellent value vacation.
Yes we will definitely cruise with CCL again probably as early as summer 2005, would we recommend the Triumph? Most definitely
Happy Sailing, God Bless, Happy Holidays and a Very Happy and Prospeous New Year For ALL.
I guess it proves the French saying "les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas" (losely translated: everyone's taste is different). I actually look forward to hearing other languages spoken when I'm on vacation, and to discover other cultures and get to know people from different backgrounds. I cannot understand for the life of me why it would bother anyone to hear Spanish, what difference does it make?? You are lucky we were not on the same ship together, you might have heard some more languages than just Spanish.
Thank you for your elaborate review, I'm sure a lot of folks will appreciate it. But I must say I was offended by your comment about hearing Spanish. If that's not being prejudice, I don't know what is.
Love, Peace and Tolerance to the world in the New Year !
I too enjoy hearing other languages spoken while on vacation - it reminds me that I've really gone somewhere!
Also, I like the fact the crew on Carnival is allowed to mingle with guests when they are "off duty". I try to meet as many of them as possible on my cruises and really enjoy talking to them about where they are from and their ship background (an amazing amount of them have been with Carnival 5+ years).
Thanks for the detailed review!
Booked: CARNIVAL DREAM!
Carnival Spirit '09, Liberty '07, Spirit '05, Valor '05, Glory '04, Pride '03, Destiny '02, Elation '01, Tropicale '91, RCCL Viking Serenade '93, Pacific Princess '78
Nice review Craig and I hope you submit it to the ships reviews section so that others may also review it. As for the crew being able to eat with the passengers, it is basically only the Officers and the Entertainment staff that are allowed this priviledge as many guest do like to see and speak with them. As for the Spanish, fairly common as there are a number of hispanics that often cruise. Doesn't bother me and really helps me keep up with my own Spanish.
Hey guys and gals, please don't beat me up over the Spanish thing ok? After living in Miami for more than 12 years (up until 2003) I had no choice but to learn yet another language adding to my basic French and Hebrew, so I am not prejudice just like to hear and speak english which I am most fluent in, so sorry if I offended anyone.
What often happens is groups of people see a very white gringo family and hold conversations in there native language, some times with very crude statements especially against fat people like my wife and me, not knowing that I understand almost everything they say, me not wanting to start a confrontation on vacation walk away and vent somewhere else.
Please accept my apologies.
Thanks for the great review of the Triumph. I am going in June 05 with my college grad. daughter and her friend so we can't wait. Glad to hear the food was good and most of the staff did a great job in serving you. I too enjoy listening to others speak in foreign languages--I only know english but like to talk to other folks from different places and different languages if they understand english. Hope our trip will be as enjoyable as yours.
Sorry Craig, I disagree with you there my friend. If someone reverts to another language simply to make crude remarks it is very tacky and low to say the least. Reply with a remark in their language that it is better to be fat and have class than to be ignorant and so small that they have to attack others to feel better themselves. Sorry, but I have this thing against nasty people and never have been able to keep my mouth shut when they appear. <G>
Thanks for the very detailed review of the Triumph. We just booked our first cruise for this July to Canada on the Triumph, and I'm glad to hear that you liked it so much. We are experts at Disney vacations, but novices at cruises.
Just a few questions if you don't mind:
1. You said to go for the late seating. We selected the 6:15pm seating as we felt 8pm too late. What is the biggest problem with this? There are 6 of us in our party in 3 cabins.
2. How long did you wait for your bags to get to your cabin? If they don't get there in time for dinner, what do you do?
3. I wasn't aware you could take automatic tipping off of your Sign and Sail card and set your own amount. How is that done? Are the waiters/staff aware of those who don't have automatic tipping on their account?
4. Sounds like you were very lucky in the casino. I live 2 hours from AC, and haven't been there since 1983! What games would you recommend? Also, are your bets charged on your sign and sail card, and winnings credited to the sign and sail card too?
5. We have 3 cabins assigned for the 6 of us. We are on the main deck under the Rome Lounge. Do you think this could be a noisy location? We have two 4B's and one 6B all together.
I'll start with these questions, but I have many more, so I just may email you. Thanks in advance!
maybe your words came out wrong. I hear you! But since you already speak Spanish, you should have used that to your advantage: I am like Jim, I can't just shut up when these things happen! Poletely tell these people with no manners, in Spanish of course, that you did not appreciate their comments. Maybe, just maybe, they would feel ashamed if they have any shame and decency left in their bones. Not to speak of their surprise to see a gringo speak their language. What a riot that would be !
As for the Triumph: I was positively surprised about your over-all good review. I had only seen the Triumph from the outside as it followed our Radiance of the Seas from port to port last year. It looked old and worn, and in desparate need of a good ol' paint job. Also, half the light bulbs spelling out "TRIUMPH" did not work and added to the over-all impression of tackiness and old age (even though the ship isn't that old...)
So we did the unthinkable and judged the book by it's cover and swore we'd never get on the Triumph. Looks like that ship deserves a closer look after all.....
Hi bulli05 & Jim and everyone,
When I was younger (I am 43) I used to get into a lot of trouble with engaging my mouth before putting brain into gear, somehow as I get older I tend to stay out of trouble, Finally, if only my parents could see me now...
As far as the ships external appearance that would almost be like what happens to me everyday being a very heavy guy, people see me and say what lazy slob he must be, until they see work and play (I even water ski).
Every port we were in the ship was washed from bow to stern and a crew behind the were painting the rough spots, only Grand Cayman could not be cleraned externally because we tender there, but that port day the carpet shampooers were in full force all over the place, really looked nice.
We only had one small problem as the room safe did not work and the mtx guy could not fix it, so I took out my handy dandy leatherman and took it apart to find that the batteries were installed upside down, works good now, sure hope he doesn't work on the ships power plant or something critical.
1) On port days the early seating is hard to get to and cuts down on your port time, 8:30pm seating would have given us plenty of time, our 10 yr old daughter
2) We were allowed into our cabin at 1:30pm and everything was there except the suitase that had my socks and underwear, it came at almost 8pm, I told the Pursers desk about what happened with the porter in Miami and they put an immediate search for it and the purser hand delivered it to my cabin.
3)Tipping is still optional all you have to do is go to the pursers desk and taell them to take it off your sail & sign acct, which you can verify on the interactive TV in your cabin
(I will not tell what my waiter team got because of potential cross fire from other viewers, our cabin steward got $100 plus a $20 at the start of our trip.)
4) As mentioned definetly Fun 21, I don't suggest wheel of fortune blackjack, also we did very well on wheel of fortune slots. We don't play craps or roulette so I cannot comment on them, but they were always crowded.
5) YES, they will be very noisey, we were one deck above piano bar and it could be heard, although my daughter can and has slept through a hurricane.
Please feel free to email me anytime, I love to write (imagine that)
Well, I guess I still haven't learned that lesson Craig. <VBG> I'm 55 now and still can't shut my mouth at times. Actually the only time I can remember not lerring on that I speak Spanish was when my wife and I were in Santo Domingo. We had gotten off the ship and wandered around topwn on our own, (I definately do not recommend that unless you speak spanish and are nuts like me) Soon we were approached by a local that offered to show us around etc. He basically would not leave after he did show us a nice place to pick up a painting. The kicker came when another local came up to hm and I overheard them speaking in spanish how they were going to rob us and they would be waiting around the corner! I allowed the local to direct us almost to the point I knew they were laying in wait and abruptly changed directions. Our local ran off and I saw him talking to the second one again. He came back and 'led' us to another location and again, just before the ambush spot we agian abruptly changed directions. This drove them nuts and I only did it once more when the second local caught up to us and told him again the next location. After we changed directions again at the last moment I tired of the game and told him in Spanish to leave or I would take great pleasure in stomping him into the ground. I don't advise anyone doing this and my wife slapped me up side the head when I told her what I had been doing but I am an evil person at times and figured I would ruin their plans and maybe some other tourist would be safe while they were chasing me around.
Yikes, I was hoping that those rooms wouldn't be too noisy! The TA had a tough time getting us three cabins right by each other. Because we have (2) 21 year olds, and (2 )18 year olds traveling with us, Carnival insisted we be right next to each other. I wonder if it's possible to change any of the cabins. We originally wanted categories 4A and 6A on the Riveria deck to minimize noise, but it was even tougher getting cabins on that deck. Any recommendations, or just bring ear plugs?
I would think with teens and 21s you may already be used to some noise? It will be ok it makes it a little more fun and we found ourselves going out after midnight which is something we seldom do at home.
Re: Re: Carnival Triumph 12-11-2004 Very Long Review
I can't interpret foreign languages but I do know that communication is 38% tone and 55% body language, so its not to difficult to understand what people are saying some times. While I'm not a pacifist, I do believe that confrontation with strangers is usually not the best policy. Why waste your time if there's no real opportunity for growth. I commend you. As one who has battled all my adult life to keep my 5'10" frame under 250 lbs. I've seen alot of "looks". I must confess I get a little "kick" out of running circles around guys half my age and weight on a basketball court. The size of a man's heart is more important than anything else. Life is sweet when you do your best, accept yourself, and quite worrying about what everybody else thinks about you acept those who are important to you.
I don't think there is much I can do about the location of my cabins at this point anyway, so we'll just have to deal with any noise, hopefully, not too much! Yup, we are use to alot of noise, screaming between my two daugthers who borrowed what, who took what, etc. That's why we are all in separate cabins!! !
I saw on the ships deck plans that you had a balcony cabin. I read on one of the reviews that for whatever reason, the balcony cabins aren't insulated as much and you do hear more noise. That could have contributed to the noise you heard from the piano bar.
Hello! My husband and I were on the Triumph the same week (12-11 to 12-18) and enjoyed our trip on this ship. We were on the Verandah Deck underneath the Lido Deck sometimes it was very noisy. My husband and I enjoyed the dancing by the waiters on tables. The Art auction was an interesting experience. We just wondered in to see the art and before you know it we were bidding.
cinderelli, please ask all the questions you want, I will never forget the great time we had on this cruise.
As far as less insulation I do not really know, probably so because the glass and door to the ocean is not insulated but the sound of the ocean passing by as we slept was incredible.
And yes Fun 21 is Blackjack but much more fun.
Cruising Lady, that was very neat dancing on the tables, did you see when they let my 10 yr old daughter join them? I can't wait to post pics of that one.